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Ohio 13, Colorado 8, Iowa 8, U.s. 7, Cincinnati 7, Cnn 7, Florida 7, Us 6, Wisconsin 5, America 5, Barack Obama 4, Virginia 4, Tom Foreman 4, Pennsylvania 4, Iraq 3, New Hampshire 3, Obama 3, John King 3, United States 3, Washington 3,
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  CNN    CNN Presents    News/Business. In-depth exploration  
   of complex current world events. (CC)  

    November 4, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

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they've been so kind to us to lend us their space this week and look at the beautiful background behind us. and our fire side chat people have been calling. have been fo. thank you so much for joining us tonight here on cnn. i am don lemon and i will see you back here next week. vote. good night. the presidential race has been won by governor ronald reagan of california. >> george h.w. bush. >> too close to call. >> george w. bush re-elected. >> barack obama, president elect of the united states. >> this is cnn. >> right now barack obama and mitt romney, they're trying to close the deal with voters in battleground states. >> stand by for the new presidential poll as we count down the last crucial hours until election day. >> tonight, the final fran advertise race for president before voters have their say.
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mitt romney and barack obama ending a long and close campaign. >> do you want more of the same or do you want change? >> fighting for every vote until the bitter end. >> we know what change looks like and what he is offering ain't it. >> this hour our last presidential poll before election day, the candidate's 11th hour game plan and the possibility of a stunning cliff hang zero this is the time to elect a leader. >> i would like to win this earlier than later. >> cnn's countdown to election day, the fight for the presidency, the battle for congress, and the issues dividing the nation. >> i still believe in you. if you still believe in me, i am asking for your vote. >> i need you to go out there and find people that will join our cause. >> it is your vote, your future, your country, your choice.
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down to less than two days until the election. barack obama and mitt romney are racing from one battleground state to the next and trying to beat the clock. right now the president is in ohio, his third state so far today with colorado. still to come, mitt romney is heading for virginia, his fourth state of the day. we would like to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i am wolf blitzer in the cnn election center. up first, the results of cnn's final national poll before the election, and it can't get any tighter than this. look at this, a 49 to 49% tie, a tie among likely voters given the poll sampling error, the popular vote could go either way. 96% of those surveyed say their minds are made up and even now 4% of likely voters out there say they can still change their minds.
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look at this. registered voters in both parties are equally enthusiastic. 70% of democrats and republicans say they're extremely or very enthusiastic about voting. in the end, who wins the popular vote isn't as important as the race to collect the 270 electoral college votes that will determine the white house. our chief national correspondent john king is over here at the magic wall and the popular vote is one thing. the battleground states very different. >> you have to say wow, we have a dead heat, a nail biter going into the final 48 hours. we're not going to get a map like this. the president had a blowout election four years ago, 53% of the vote, won a lot of states. we can see with certainty that's not going to happen. we have a much more competitive national battlefield. the question is what happens here? we elect a president state by state and the race is 270 and with 48 hours to go here is how we see it, 237, the blue states,
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light and dark blue, 206, the red states. you can see no one has an easy path to 270. the president has an easier path. the three final rallies will be held in iowa, wisconsin, and ohio. if the president can win just those three states and nothing else on the map changes, look at that. he wins re-election. governor romney could run the board anywhere else. if the president can win iowa, wisconsin and ohio and nothing else changes on the map he is elected to a second term. the president has an easier path. what about governor romney? how does he get to 270? it has to start in florida. he needs the 29. without them, almost impossible. we lean north carolina his way and he has to keep it. the obama campaign says it is not out of play. it is trending republican and he needs to keep it and match it by getting neighboring virginia. if he does that, and he can get ohio, no republican has ever won
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without it, if governor romney can win those four, florida, north carolina, virginia and ohio, look at that. then he needs just any one off the menu. he could win colorado, new hampshire, and he would win the election. the romney campaign says it has an enthusiastic edge and the president has had an edge in most of the polls in ohio. can governor romney get there without ohio? no republican has ever done it in history. no one ever. he would have to win colorado. he would have to win wisconsin. he would probably have to win iowa and that would get him over the ton. so hard to see him not winning ohio and winning wisconsin and iowa. can he get there without it? yes. probable? probably not. >> ohio, ohio, ohio as we're saying. don't go too far away. anderson cooper is with us every step of the way. >> check in with our analysts and dana bash is here and gloria borger and here with the
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republican consultant alex costianos and dan jones. two days to go. where are your heads at? what are you looking at? >> spending. i think this is impossible to call this race. john king just laid it out. mitt romney has a steeper hill to climb. if you look at the 12 battleground states, barack obama is ahead in 9 of the 12 and romney only ahead in three. when you go on the ground, you actually talk to people in the state, i was in ohio this week and it was striking how many republicans on the ground thought they were going to win. they thought they had the enthusiasm. they thought they had the evangelical vote. i think we rely too much on the polls. i think we should wait and see what the voters say. >> there is no doubt that republicans are more enthusiastic this time than they
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were four years ago. our poll, though, on overall on sort of a national average shows a tie between the parties on that. that wouldn't be good if that held up in the battleground states for mitt romney because what he has to depend onto match the get out the vote effort from the obama campaign, he's got to depend on the natural energy, enthusiasm, of his own troops. if he doesn't have that, then he is really going to have a problem. >> four years ago when you are talking about ohio, president obama won because he won in early voting. he effectively lost on election day those votes. if you talk to the romney campaign crunching the numbers big time they argue their numbers are up a lot, a lot. >> but is it enough? >> in early voting and absentee. >> that's the question. is it enough? when you go into these states as i have in the last few weeks, it is night and day. this is not 2008. you go into the obama campaign offices, they're full of people and they're working hard.
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it is not like it was four years ago when you went in and sell bra to her and people waiting outside and it is not like that. these are bustling obama campaign offices and working hard. they have a great organization. they don't have the energy. wa the republican offices are buzzing, way more than they were for john mccain in ohio, colorado, elsewhere. >> the question is is it enough? >> is it enough? >> the house speaker did an exclusive interview just today in ohio and he knows ohio. he is from ohio. he insists he has never seen this republican enthusiasm in his own state right now. >> it is fascinating to use mitt romney using the same words that candidate obama used talking about change a lot and on this mission or this is a movement which is reflecting what a lot of the obama folks felt four years ago. >> and that's what you are
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seeing change in the country. we want the same president we wanted last time we just haven't gotten him yet so mitt romney is out there campaigning for hope and change. i am seeing in these states a tremendous amount of intensity, obama intensity is picking up near the end. the storm helped the president and this thing is a nail biter. when i look at the numbers any reasonable analyst would look and say obama has an advantage and if you look beneath them i can make the case if mitt romney can reach 300 electoral votes. >> it is really fascinating. in a place like ohio you have ralph reed in there. anybody that thinks ohio is in the bag for obama, you have ralph reed there. you wake up in a body bag and you can see the people coming in. at the same time, there may be real under sample of younger browner voters. when i am in ohio i am seeing people, nobody ever called me for a poll, asked my opinion and
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i have all of my friends coming out. there is x factors here we don't know about. >> we're going to stand by for more result from the new poll on how the economy is influencing voters and also tom foreman is taking us inside his virtual u.s. senate and how our lives can change if the balance of power shifts in the senate and both presidential candidates holding battleground state rallies and the reporters are there and the last minute strategies. we'll be right back. a live picture from we'rwith questions fromtump sombing elections.kies do you know where your polling place is? maybe somewhere around my house. mine's just, right over that way. well you can find out exactly
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so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. a live picture from cincinnati, the president of the united states getting ready to speak to a big crowd there. we're going to have live coverage. that's coming up. meanwhile, we have more now from our new national poll, cnn's final survey. there's still a long way to go. 46% say things are going well in
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the country right now. that's up from 36% back in august. 53% say things are going badly in the country. that's 10 points lower than in august. the mood is much more pessimistic when we specifically ask about the economy. only 28% say economic conditions are good. 71% call them poor. and among likely voters, 31% say economic conditions improve only if president obama wins. 43% say they'll improve only if mitt romney wins. 13% think things will improve if either wins. 5% think things won't get better. anderson? >> we're watching all this, and both candidates on the trail tonight. as we said, in battleground states, president obama's campaign in new hampshire, florida and ohio. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is in cincinnati. >> hi, anderson, as you
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mentioned, the president has been criss-crossing the nation hitting battleground states. some of those states were expected nail biters. new hampshire, florida, colorado. he's also been investing time in wisconsin. yesterday he was there. this is a state he should not have to invest some of these precious last hours. in the final days, he's swinging through no fewer than three times in a traditionally blue state, that is a lot of time for a democrat to invest at the very end of the campaign. his message anderson, he tells audiences that he will continue to fight for the middle class. he insists that he and not governor romney is the candidate of change. enhe says that he will be the man, the president that voters can trust. this was what the president said earlier today in hollywood, florida. >> you know, and here's the thing, when you make this choice, part of what you're
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choosing is, who do you trust? because you don't know what crisis the next president's going to confront. you don't know what challenge we may have to meet that was unexpected. part of what you're focused on is -- how does somebody operate? and after four years as president, you know me by now. >> the main message the presidents and the surrogates deliver is vote. his campaign believes they have the support in this nation if they can just turn their supporters out. anderson? >> how is he going to spend the day tomorrow, what's the schedule? >> reporter: tomorrow he goes to wisconsin, ohio and iowa he's
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ending the day, where they say it all began. he will be there with mrs. obama at a very laterally late tomorrow night. i would also point out that bill clinton will be on the campaign trail tomorrow spending his entire day in pennsylvania for the president, shoring up support in again a traditionally blue state. because this campaign says they've learned from the past and they can't take it for granted. anderson? >> mitt romney is heading for virginia, it's the fourth state he's visited today. the real eye opener was his last stop in pennsylvania. here's some of what romney just told the crowd. >> if there's anyone worried that the last four years are the best we can do, if there's anyone who fears that the american dream is fading away. if there's anyone who wonders whether better jobs and paychecks are a thing of the past. i have a clear and unequivocal message. with the right leadership, america is about to come roaring back.
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>> cnn national correspondent jim acosta is following the romney campaign. >> an assignment romney knows he's an underdog here in pennsylvania. the gop nominee outside of the philadelphia suburbs to the theme from the movie rocky. across the country he's been giving his closing argument. he says the president is re-elected the country could go back in the recession and continue to accumulate massive piles of debt. what he's been doing is try to reach out to independent undecided and even some democratic voters to change their minds in the final days of this race. asked why the romney campaign is trying to compete in pennsylvania, a state that's been long considered to be a democratic strong hold in presidential races, a top romney adviser points to the polls saying they're overperforming the state, and the president in their mind is underperforming. mitt romney who's been considered a numbers man throughout his career, is going to find out who's right, the
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pollsters or his campaign? >> it's a dead heat in our new presidential polls. voters are not evenly split when we ask who they think will win. more results on that coming up ahead. our reporters are out in force tonight, we'll check in with them on some of the closest contests ahead. but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast-acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! [ male announcer ] try new alka-seltzer plus severe allergy to treat allergy symptoms plus sinus congestion and pain.
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you're looking at live pictures from cincinnati. the president of the united states getting ready to address a pretty big crowd there. we're going to have live coverage. stand by for that. we have more from cnn's final pre-election national poll. it shows the presidential candidates in a 49% tie among likely voters nationally, but look at this. when we asked them who they think will win, 57% say president obama, only 36% say milt romney, also, both candidates favorable ratings are nearly identical. 52% have a favorable view of the president, while 46% have an unfavorable view of him. mitt romney's unfavorable number is only one point lower than the president. the same goes for his unfavorable number. the president's is 46%. john king is over here at the magic wall to compare the latest poll numbers with what the voters thought four years ago.
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what are you seeing, john? >> that's a great question. we always see, which candidate do you think handles the economy better, will handle a crisis better. demographics tell us who's likely to win. on election day in 2008, senator obama won by six points among independent voters. in our new poll tonight, wolf, governor romney is ahead by 20 points. if governor romney wins double-digits, it's hard to see the president winning re-election. our last pre-election poll. big advantage for governor romney there. among latino voters, we know what the president did four years ago. latinos were 9% of the national electorate four years ago. if it's around 9% or higher, it's good news for president obama. we expect he's going to get two thirds or more of the latino vote. if this number is flat or down, it's a potential opening for the romney campaign.
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who votes on tuesday, is critical to who wins. if you look here among, let me turn that off for you, among voters aged 18 to 29, this was 18% of the electorate, four years ago, you see the president's advantage, again, we expect the president to have a similar advantage among younger voters. the question is, how many vote. is the obama coalition this year similar to four years ago, again, when you look at early exit polls, are they around 18%? if that number's down, here's an opener for governor romney. if the president of the united states is above 40 in the state of ohio, which is the battleground of all battlegrounds. that's a number to watch on election day. if he can match this number, that would bode well for the president in the key battleground state of ohio. one more we want to look at, is among white evangelicals. they're also working in virginia, colorado, elsewhere.
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this is what happened four years ago. about 28% of the electorates said they were evangelical voters. watch where it is in ohio, colorado and if governor romney can get eight in ten of those votes, he has a good shot in this election. the question is, is it the obama coalition of 2008 or 2012. if they can re-create the magic of four years ago, they'll be in good shape. this battle is intense. >> it certainly is. and we're counting down to election day in america, almost here. it could come down to a handful of states that could go either way. let's check in on three of the states. don lemon is in ohio, poppy harlow is in ohio. don? >> anderson, the strategy here is to get as many people out to early vote as possible. i've had the chance to go to
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several polling places in hamilton county, franklin county, and today in montgomery county here in the columbus area, when i went out to check out the polls to see how early voting was going, i was stunned by the number of people i saw. the lines were around the building. people waiting in lines for hours. i'm told by the democratic party chair here, anderson, they had 4,000 people in four hours to early vote in montgomery county. and that is causing the republican people here on the ground to try to rethink their strategy to get people to the polls and vote. this is a numbers game and it's all going to come down to the wire. i couldn't believe the number of people i saw, they believe all of those votes. most of those votes today in montgomery county, democratic voters, ander southern. >> let's check in with poppy harlow in des moines. >> reporter: anderson, it is around the clock here, nonstop. we're coming to you live tonight from one of obama's 350 volunteer centers in iowa alone. calling, knocking on doors.
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they wouldn't give us the number of doors knocked and calls made, they expect to knock on 1.1 million doors here in iowa. romney says, we contacted 2 million voters since june. the early vote is critical in this battleground state, 40% of the votes are going to be early votes. right now, democrats have a 63,000 vote lead on republicans. they traditionally do lead republicans in this state on early voting, but the secretary of state's office tells me, anderson, that lead is much narrower than it has been in past years, romney camp getting out the ground game. very hard, here in iowa. they want these six electoral votes. anderson. >> let's check in on the situation with kim. >> reporter: paul ryan is expected to arrive here momentarily, this is his final event of this barnstorm day. it's fitting i'm standing in a barn at the douglas county fair grounds. the republicans say they're the
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ones with the energy, you see how crowded did is behind me. and if you look at who has already cast their votes in early voting, it is the republicans who are leading. 1.6 million people have already voted. the colorado secretary of state says about 85% of the registered voters will have voted before election day. the republicans leading by 35,000, very different story here than what poppy is seeing in iowa with a. republicans saying they have the energy, the edge, i can tell you from being out here, it is too close to call. both sides really have to reach those very critical independents in the swing state. anderson. >> quick check of three battleground states right there. we're waiting to hear from president obama in ohio any moment now. we're turning our attention ahead to the battle for congress. tom foreman has a unique way to show us how the election could change the senate, and affect some of the toughest issues
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do you know where your polling place is? maybe somewhere around my house. mine's just, right over that way. well you can find out exactly where it is using bing elections. it's a good day for politics. which way do you lean politically? conservative. republican. well, using the bing news selector you can find news from whichever way you lean. (together) social on this side, financial. which party is currently predicted to win a majority in the senate? the republicans? would you make a bet on that? no. are you chicken? [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk.
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we're not only focused on the battle for the white house, we're paying attention to which party ends up controlling the senate. it will have a huge impact on some of the most important issues facing the country right now. tom foreman is in our virtual u.s. senate for a close look. what are you seeing? >> right behind the white house race the single biggest attention grabber in all of this is going to be a race for control of the u.s. senate. what's decided here, the balance
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of power here will have a huge impact on what gets done in washington over the next four years. let's take our camera up high and show you the current balance. the republicans have 47 seats in red here, you see that strip of blue in the back? that is the democratic advantage. when you include the independent senators who caucus with the democrats they had 53 seats and that gives them the majority. also, they have the white house, with president obama, of course. and the republicans have one strong hold, that is the u.s. house of representatives where they have the majority. if nothing changes here, and president obama gets re-elected, what can we expect to see here in the u.s. senate? well, a lot of the same maneuvering and bickering as we've seen before, i imagine. but also, a new agenda. one of the first things on president obama's agenda, higher taxes on the wealthy. he talked about this as making the economy more fair and getting it moving again. here's another item, immigration reform. he took a lot of heat not
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getting this done the first time after he plomsed he would. he says if he's re-elected he'll take another crack at it. and he might have a supreme court seat to fill. justice ginsburg has indicated she may want to retire. if president obama puts another liberal in that seat, it would maintain the status quo. >> let's assume the president doesn't get elected. what would mitt romney as president want to do in this chamber? the first thing lower tax rates for everybody. he's talked about it a lot. a 20% reduction across the board, plus closing a lot of loopholes out there, that's his way of getting the economy moving again. and getting the deficit under control. he also wants to get rid of obama care. repeal obama care, says he'll keep the most popular parts, by and large, the rest of it he wants to chuck out.
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and he too could face that supreme court seat. big difference, though. big difference. if a liberal justice goes away, he would probably want to put a more conservative justice in that seat. that would change the balance of the court and wolf it would probably affect the types of rulings that we would see coming out of that court if president romney were in charge. wolf? >> a lot of experts believe the house will remain in the hands of the republicans. what about the balance of power in the senate? >> yeah, the simple truth is, getting any of this done for either of these men will depend largely on what happens in this chamber. the democrats could hold their advantage. the republicans may be able to pick up those three blue seats back there. in which case you would have a tie here, and any 50/50 vote would have to be decided by joe biden or paul ryan. maybe the republicans would pick up a couple seats on the democratic side and have control here. this is the most important thing
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for everyone to bear in mind. no matter which party is in charge of this chamber, has the majority here, after the vote the simple truth is, there's no chance either party will have a 60 vote majority which is what you need to defeat the threat of a filibuster. without that, that means both parties would have the same challenge. they must come up with a way to do what they haven't been able to do for quite some time. work across this aisle to produce some kind of agreements, wolf, or else neither party can get much of anything done. >> excellent report from tom foreman in our virtual u.s. senate. love that virtual u.s. senate, tom thanks very much. hurricane sandy's impact is a wild card in tuesday's vote. one key republican says the storm stopped mitt romney's momentum. we also have exclusive photos of both candidates behind the scenes during this, the final week of the campaign.
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we expanded pell grants, lowered student loans. i do what i say. . you know where i stand and what i believe. you know i tell the truth. and you know i'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as i know how. so when i tell you i know what real change looks like. it's because i fought for it. it's because i delivered it, i have the scars to prove it. that's why my hair went gray. ohio, after all we've been together, we can't give up on it now, we have to bring some more change to america.
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we've got more work to do. here's what change is, change is a country where every american has a shot at a great education. now, government can't do this alone. parents have to parent. students have to study. kids, i want you to hit the books, don't just have fun here. but don't tell me that hiring more teachers won't help this economy grow, of course it will. don't tell me that students who can't afford college should just borrow money from their parents. that wasn't an option for me, and i bet it's not an option for a lot of you. that's why i want to cut the growth of tuition in half over
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the next 10 years. that's why i want to recruit 100,000 math and science teachers so our kids don't fall behind the rest of the world. that's why i want to train 2 million americans in our community colleges with the skills the businesses are hiring for right now. that's my plan, that's what change is, that's what we're fighting for in this election. change is when we live up to this country's legacy of innovation. i'm proud i bet on american workers, american ingenuity and the american auto industry. we're building better cars here in ohio, here in the midwest, here in america. cars that in the next decade will go further on a gallon of gas.
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that helps our economy, our national security. we don't want to just stop at cars, we want advanced manufacturing all across this country. there are thousands of workers building long lasting batteries, wind turbines, solar panels. i don't want a tax code that simply subsidizes oil company profits when they're making money hand over fist. i want to support the energy jobs of tomorrow. i want to support the new technology that will cut our oil imports in half. i don't want a tax code that rewards companies shipping jobs overseas, i want to reward companies investing here in ohio, manufacturing with american workers. that's my plan for jobs and growth. that's the future i see. change is turning the page on a decade of war. so we can do some nation building here at home.
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we will pursue our enemies with the strongest military the world's ever known. but it's time for us to use some of the savings from ending the wars in iraq and winding down transing in afghanistan to pay down our debt. to rebuild america. let's put some folks back to work right now, repairing roads and bridges. there's a bridge right here in cincinnati that needs some work. let's make sure we have schools that are state of the art all across this country. and let's especially hire our veterans, if you fought for this country and its freedom, you shouldn't have to fight for a job when you come home. that's what will keep us strong. that's my commitment to you, and that's what's at stake in this election. you know, change. change is a future where we
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reduce our deficit and debt and do it in a balanced, responsible way. i signed a trillion dollars worth of spending cuts, i intend to do more. if we're serious about our deficit, we can't just cut our way to prosperity. we have to ask our wealthiest americans to go back to the same tax rates they were paying when bill clinton was in office. the reason is, a budget is about choices, values, and priorities. we can't do everything. we have to make some decisions in terms of what's important. i won't turn medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut. i won't throw kids off of head start just to pay for another tax cut for me. i don't need it. those kids need it, i don't need it. so we know what change is.
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we know what the future requires, and we also know it's not easy. it's not easy bringing about change. you know, back in 2008, when we talked about change, we believe in, i warned people, look, i wasn't just talking about changing presidents. i wasn't just talking about changing political parties. i was talking about changing how our system of politics works. i ran because the voices of the american people, your voices, had been shut out of our democracy for way too long, by lobbyists and politicians who will do and say whatever it takes to keep things the way they are. the protectors of the status quo. they're powerful. and they fought us every step of the way in washington. they spent millions to try to
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stop us from reforming health care. spent millions to try to stop us from reforming wall street. and when we got all those things through, they engineered a strategy of gridlock in congress, refusing to compromise even on ideas that both democrats and republicans used to support. like obama care which started out in massachusetts under governor romney. it worked fine when a republican was sponsoring it, suddenly it was terrible when a democrat put it forward. and the reason they've done this, it's a strategy, it's a calculation. they're counting on you'll be so worn down by all the squabbling, tired of all the dysfunction, you'll just be fed up and you'll ultimately give up on the idea of changing, you'll walk away, leave them in power, you'll
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decide things can't change. in other words they're bet is on cynicism, but ohio, my bet's on you. >> you're listening to president obama speaking in cincinnati ohio. both candidates, the closing arguments they were making, do you think they're the right ones, alex? >> i think mitt romney's becoming so much better a candidate since that first debate. he's talking about change in washington, or more of the same for the next four years. finally, an argument that you can tell someone in an elevator for 30 seconds, why vote for mitt romney. this is the best i've seen of barack obama since four years ago, yes, i think these guys. another couple of years of this election, and they'll be right there. >> what do you think? >> well, i mean, this is -- i agree with alex 100%. i think obama's finally found his stride. there's a danger for mitt romney, he may have peeked a bit too early.
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i think you see obama with the enthusiasm. a lot of people have been very concerned, you saw in florida, those long lines, people wanting to vote, there's a sense now, maybe they don't want us to vote. i think you're seeing a late surge for obama. i think he's appealing to that desire to get back on track. >> in watching mitt romney speak today and in the last couple days, what has really struck me is that this is the candidate who was so robotic, needed his wife to humanize him. he's now talking about his family. he's talking about his faith. today he was telling a story about his sister and her children and she's a widow. she has a down syndrome child. it's a different mitt romney. >> his favorables are up, i think this is the reason. >> the most important thing he's done is made a pivot from being a severe conservative to a moderate conservative. he's done that in the first
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debate and carried that right along ever since. it's worked well for him. if he loses, republicans ought to understand that he gained by going more toward the senate. >> do you think that's the message they would get if he loses? >> my guess is they wouldn't because you're talking about different points in time. when he's running in -- you remember, this is the mitt romney who had a very hard time convincing republicans he was one of them during the primaries. now he's unshackled. he can run toward the middle because that's what you do in the general election. it's easier for him to be the kind of guy everyone is saying is appealing. >> look how much more appealing he is to most americans? >> and more optimistic. >> one thing i remember from the republican primaries and alex, you may disagree with me, is that it was relentlessly harsh. negative. cheers about people not getting worked on in hospital waiting
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rooms and that kind -- remember those awful moments during the primaries? mitt romney had to get away from that, and it's taking him time. >> a campaign does that. >> my experience has been they don't pick candidates, they make candidates. this is the mitt romney we can see as president. as authentic as he was when he started. he's grown through the process. >> that's what conservatives were worried about, by the way. you. >> don't win the middle by compromising yourself. you win the middle by being optimistic and explaining how your values are not only right and true, but work better. >> i think that's right, his problem now is, there are a lot of people that watch the pivot and said, this is too rapid and obvious. it's also caused a certain amount of distrust. if he made the pivot earlier, he
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may have lost the nomination. i think he made the right choice. >> people after four years are not quite sure who president obama is, and who he will be in the next four years. will he work with republicans? the same thing with mitt romney. >> one thing that's funny. it sounds like you're saying mit is more appealing. he went back to that welfare argument. that seemed like a cheap shot. he said something today, we talked about people are -- i'm not going to offer to give you free money or free checks to make you vote for me. those things don't sit well with people. he has a little more of a mixed picture for me. >> both candidates have done that, mitt romney gets called on it and barack obama never does. this week, obama called for people to vote on revenge. if a republican had done that, we would be banned from the country. >> look at the way the republicans spun what he said. here's what i think is true, i think both of these candidates have found their voice. i think people now, if you're watching tuning in now, you get a chance to see the best of both of them. >> that's why we're playing as much as we can. we'll get a glimpse at who the presidential candidates are,
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like you have never seen before. the obama rally in cincinnati. there's the president. several weeks ago, cnn invited each campaign team to submit images from the last weeks of presidential candidates are, like you have never seen before. [ male announcer ] can a car be built around a state of mind? ♪ announcing the all-new 2013 malibu from chevrolet. ♪ with a remarkable new interior featuring the available chevrolet mylink infotainment system. this is where sophisticated styling begins.
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the obama rally in cincinnati. there's the president. several weeks ago, cnn invited each campaign team to submit images from the last weeks of the 2012 presidential campaign. look at these exclusive behind the scenes pictures of barack obama and mitt romney in rare unguarded moments. the photos of the president were taken last week during the white house chief photographer pete sues saturday. we see the president in a staff meeting about hurricane sandy, hugging one of the victims of the storm to the new jersey coast and in florida getting ready for a joint appearance with former president bill clinton. >> the pictures of mitt romney come from eric draper, who served as george w. bush's personal photographer. he's singing along with the oak ridge boys and hugging his grandchildren. you can see a lot more of the pictures on our website cnn.com. stay with us for the complete coverage of the final hours of the 2012 campaign.

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